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How To Grow Duckweed?

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I am going by the water garden store later today to pick up a bag full of duckweed. I am hoping to maintain a supply of it in a bucket kept outside in the natural light to feed to my easy-to-float ryukin Puddles. Is there any trick to establishing/maintaining a supply of this plant?

Do I need to clean it in potassium permanganate before putting it in the tank to keep from introducing any pathogens from the water garden store? If so, how do I rinse it to make sure that it is okay for the fish to eat?

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i would grow it in fish water from water changes, but from what i hear, it would be hard NOT to grow it

it's extremely hardy and is notorious for taking over lakes and ponds

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I have some growing in a bucket with a strip light sitting on top of it. It's not at all difficult to grow.

What I did was get a fine metal strainer (like the flour sifter type) and use it to dip the duckweed in a 1 part bleach, 19 parts water solution for 1.5mins. You could use that same technique with PP. Then I did that again to rinse them in dechlorinated water. I've had no problem, but for some reason they won't grow so well! Penguin made a carbon dioxide bubbler, which seems to help.

When it warms up, I'll put the bucket outside. Good luck!

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I have read up on Duckweed, It needs chelated iron to thrive. You need to find a fertilizer that has it, and it should do well. I will try to find that article again, it had great information in it.

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Growing Duckweed info.

Peters plant food is recommended because it contains the chelated iron.

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Thanks for the info! I got two big handfuls from the pond garden store yesterday. It is in a bucket in the sun right now. I will look into getting the fertilizer.

What I did was get a fine metal strainer (like the flour sifter type) and use it to dip the duckweed in a 1 part bleach, 19 parts water solution for 1.5mins. You could use that same technique with PP. Then I did that again to rinse them in dechlorinated water. I've had no problem, but for some reason they won't grow so well! Penguin made a carbon dioxide bubbler, which seems to help.

Joy - Do you think that is was soaking yours in bleach water that made it grow slowly? I want to make sure it's clean before I put it in the tank, but I also don't want to wreck its ability to grow and reproduce.

BTW -- I am so sorry that you lost Rhapsody. Seems like there have been lots of fish losses around here lately and it is so sad!

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Joy - Do you think that is was soaking yours in bleach water that made it grow slowly? I want to make sure it's clean before I put it in the tank, but I also don't want to wreck its ability to grow and reproduce.

BTW -- I am so sorry that you lost Rhapsody. Seems like there have been lots of fish losses around here lately and it is so sad!

It could be... but I would much rather it be "clean" than grow fast. The recommended bleach dip is 2 mins for plants... maybe 1 min would be enough for the little buggers? My LFS gave it to me for free, so I wasn't terribly concerned. I think a big reason why it's growing so slowly is that I haven't got any moving water in it... or it could be the lack of iron as Chickey mentioned. I've never kept aquatic plants before so it's all an experiment to me!

Let me know how your duckweed does... let's see if we can figure it out together.

Thanks for your kind words about Rhapsody. Penguin and I are still mourning her untimely loss. :(

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I still haven't cleaned my duckweed (and of course haven't put any in my aquarium). When I got it last week I had enough to cover about half the surface of the water in a 5 gallon bucket. It has been sitting in the bucket and getting about 8 hours of sunlight a day, and now the surface of the water is completely covered with duckweed.

When I got it at the water garden store, they had it stored in a flat container with about 3 inches of water and no aeration. Their container was in the shade. The growth of duckweed in their container was dense -- the guy said that they have to throw out a few big handfuls a day to keep it from overgrowing. The guy at the pond store specifically said that duckweed doesn't like moving water (although they have told me a couple of things there that I know are not true, so I take what they say with a grain of salt).

This weekend I think that I will put it in a strainer and soak it in a light purple solution of PP. Do you know how long I should soak it? Then I will put it in a fresh bucket of dechlorinated water with a few drops of liquid plant fertilizer. Then I will know that anything that grows from that bucket is "clean" and okay to give to my fishes (aquarium and pond).

I will keep you posted on my progress.

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An update on my duckweed:

About three days ago I put it in a metal mesh strainer and soaked it for 20 minutes in a medium purple solution of potassium permanganate. Then I rinsed thoroughly with dechlorinated water and put it back into my bucket with tank water. (I haven't gotten liquid fertilizer yet.) I put the bucket in the sun and over the past three days it has approximately doubled in quantity.

A question, Joy -- does your duckweed grow coarse hairy roots? Mine does -- you can see it in the photo below. I just want to make double sure that this is, in fact, duckweed before I feed it to my fish.

post-15046-1208121326_thumb.jpg

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wow, my duckweed isn't growing @ all so congrats on yous :)

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Alright Kristen, well kudos to you because my duckweed is just growing thinner! I moved it to a bucket outside since we had a huge spike in warm weather

(that seems to be disappearing... :( ). I can't find liquid fertilizer anywhere.

My duckweed looks different, I think. It has thin white roots; I wouldn't describe them as coarse or hairy. However, you may have more "mature" duckweed than I--- I'm pretty sure you've got the correct stuff.

Hopefully my duckweed will grow. Kristen I think you're good to go on the duckweed. Grab a handful and feed away!!

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